Finding The Perfect Space To Rent While In College
While summer is known to be the time of celebrating a break, many students utilize this time to prepare for college. Whether it’s registering for classes or picking up textbooks, students are on campus most of the time. This brings up the choice of either finding a place on campus or off campus to stay at during school time. Both options of renting have their benefits and drawbacks, depending on what you prioritize in a property.
Whether it’s college students, young professionals, or retiring baby boomers, Florida is a great place for many people to settle. There are many rental options in Florida since the state is the 3rd most populous and the 8th most densely populated state in the United States. The 2019 population growth rate is expected to be well above the national rate.
Additionally, the Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report named seven housing markets in Florida that are projected to have population growth rates at least 85% higher than the national average. These growths lead experts to believe that rental properties will have increased demand, especially multi-family homes. This could be the result of growing interest rates pushing up the monthly costs of owning a home. More people are choosing to rent the houses they live in due to this, especially students.
When looking for a place to rent, there are many qualities of a property to consider, all with varying degrees of importance.
Price. All of the below will come with a price tag, some more expensive than others. In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) computed the average amount a renter in the United States spends on housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and entertainment in a year. Out of the total $33,460 per year, an average of $12,843, or 38.3%, went towards rent, making it the most expensive category. Utilities, such as gas, electricity, and fuels, were calculated to be 18.7% of rent costs, $2,413.
Ideally, the monthly rent and utility bill should be at most 30% of a student’s income. Students also need to research upfront costs, such as the first and last month’s rent costs, security deposits, pet deposits, or holding fees. While these may be refundable at the end of your lease, the costs may hinder you making enough money to pay your rent.
Location. Students want to be near their university while also close to restaurants, public transportation, supermarkets, and other common facilities. Location can make the price of property vary greatly. If the university is in an urban area, students can expect rent prices to be higher than in rural areas. At the University of Florida, the median monthly rent is $641, which is higher than the median monthly rent at Florida State University, $593.
Space. Students usually have to make a choice between an apartment or a house. Here are some pros and cons of each option from BestColleges:
Secure and private entry to the building and unit
Typically fewer tenants per unit than are found in a house
Greater chance of an onsite, and more responsive, landlord or property manager
Shared space with all other residents, especially laundry rooms, mail areas, and lounges
Buildings with many units have a greater potential for noise issues and hazards
Apartment hallways, trash rooms, and entryways may be neglected or abused
Typically more spacious than an apartment holding the same number of tenants
A much better way to live with a large group of people, which is one of the cheapest ways to rent
Better chance pets are permitted, especially if the house comes with a yard
More likely to have private amenities, such as a washer and dryer
Often, homes are less secure than apartments, especially if the property is isolated
Homes may require more maintenance, which can mean more reliance on the landlord
The fewer people you live with, or the nicer the house, the pricier the rent will be. Total rent for a house will tend to be more than the apartment equivalent
Shared bathroom, kitchen, and living areas can mean less privacy overall
Privacy. Depending on how many roommates a student has, some may place importance on bedrooms or bathrooms available to them. The thought of sharing a bedroom or bathroom may deter some renters.
Length of Lease. The common lengths of leases are month-to-month, three-month, six-month, or one-year leases. Longer leases may cost less in the long run but provide little flexibility compared to short leases.
Amenities. Properties that include amenities such as WiFi, a washer or dryer, or security features provide more convenience overall.
There are many different places to search for a rental property. One of the first places to look for a rental property would be directly on the university website, as they usually post nearby listings. Other sites would be apartments.com, ForRent, or HotPads.
Our Winter Park property is situated within walking distance from Rollins College and features four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, and many other amenities. Read more about it here.